Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re reading this, relaxing on the couch, drink in hand, maybe thankful that you’re already in the fantasy football playoffs, or at least close to clinching a spot. We were set to have three games on Thursday, but unfortunately, for now, the Ravens-Steelers is postponed till Sunday. I guess now you have to watch Home Alone with your dad snoring on the couch. Still a couple of games on Thursday and a full slate this weekend with no teams on a bye. Here are the players to start and sit in Week 12.
Cam Newton vs. Arizona Cardinals
Say what you want about Newton’s post-game outfits, but fantasy points never go out of style. Ever since that disaster against San Francisco, he’s scored at least 16 fantasy points. He faces Arizona that has allowed 20 or more fantasy points to quarterbacks in four straight games.
Derek Carr at Atlanta Falcons
Carr had a big rebound last week with over 22 fantasy points against the Chiefs. This week he gets another great opportunity against the Falcons who are allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season including 20+ point performance to quarterbacks in six straight games.
Other Quarterbacks To Start: Taysom Hill, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Ryan (If Julio Jones plays)
Daniel Jones at Cincinnati Bengals
Danny Dimes got his revenge two weeks ago against Philadelphia and got that rushing touchdown, an ending fit for a TV after school special. I’m not officially saying Danny Dimes is back, but at least 18 fantasy points in three of his last four games is a step in the right direction. I love him this week against a bad Bengals secondary.
Andy Dalton vs. Washington Football Team (Thursday)
Dalton was able to come back and play his best this season against a soft Minnesota secondary. The Football Team is the only defense allowing under 200 passing yards-per-game this year.
Tua Tagovailoa at New York Jets
The matchup is great this week, especially when we saw a rookie quarterback go off on the Jets secondary last week, but in a week where there no quarterbacks on a bye, there are other options I feel more confident about putting in my starting lineup. Tua has two games with under 100 passing yards and we know Brian Flores isn’t afraid to give him the hook.
Other Quarterbacks To Sit: Matthew Stafford (Thursday), Baker Mayfield, Ryan Tannehill, Jared Goff
Kirk Cousins vs Carolina Panthers
Kirk Cousins is like riding a seesaw, but not like the fun time when you just go up and down, more like when you’re at the top, then the other person jumps off and you fall knocking the wind out of your life. Cousins can look brilliant at times and score 20+ points, but then he can score one point, yes he’s scored just one point in a game this year. He faces Carolina who has been tough on the pass and vulnerable against the run. The game script could very well have the Vikings lean heavy on Dalvin Cook this week
David Montgomery at Green Bay Packers
Montgomery will have had almost three weeks to recover from a concussion and should be back in the lineup. He gets a great matchup against NFC North rivals the Packers. Monty is very efficient in the passing game and Green Bay has allowed the most receiving yards to running backs this year.
Todd Gurley vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Last week I told you not to play Gurley and if you listen, you’re welcome. This week I’m telling you to get some Gurley in your lineup. We’ve highlighted Gurley as someone who finds a way to get into the end zone, the Raiders have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns, second-most this season.
Other Running Backs To Start: Salvon Ahmed, Antonio Gibson, Mike Davis, Zack Moss, Duke Johnson
Gio Bernard vs New York Giants
With Mixon going on Injured Reserved, and now Joe Burrow out for the year, this offense might heavily lean on Bernard. The Giants are tough at defending the ground game, but they’ve allowed the second-most receiving yards and third-most receiving touchdowns to running backs, Bernard has at least five targets in three of his last four games.
Darrell Henderson vs. San Francisco 49ers
It’s getting to the point where there is no one to trust in the Rams backfield. Henderson’s touches have dropped in recent weeks and he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 5.
Jerick McKinnon at Los Angeles Rams
Whether or not Raheem Mostert plays this week I’m avoiding McKinnon. If Mostert doesn’t play, we’ll probably see another committee against a Rams run defense that’s one of the best this year, and if he does he’ll dominate the carries.
Other Running Backs To Sit: Kenyan Drake, Devin Singletary, Jordin Wilkins, Ronald Jones
Melvin Gordon vs New Orleans Saints
Gordon had his first game with over 11 fantasy points since Week 4. It’ll be tough to see him come close against the Saints who are allowing the fewest points to run backs this season and haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since 2017.
Brandin Cooks at Detroit Lions (Thursday)
I think we all know that Brandin Cooks should be in your lineup, but there’s no way I’m not going to mention him when he’s playing on Thanksgiving. He’s going to Cook up a nice game and gobble up a ton of points against the Lions. You can also start Will if you want to feel even Fuller…I’ll just stop now.
Darius Slayton at Cincinnati Bengals
With the Giants’ receiving core fully healthy, Slayton played a lot better going into the bye week. He’s set up for a great matchup against an awful Bengals secondary that has allowed 14 touchdowns to wide receivers this year.
Other Wide Receivers To Start: Diontae Johnson, Michael Pittman Jr., Sterling Shepard, Curtis Samuel, Nelson Agholor
Antonio Brown vs. Kansas City Chiefs
I wonder what Tom Brady and Antonio Brown are doing as roommates; I picture them playing board games, going out to the backyard and practicing routes, then ending the night telling ghost stories. Brady is throwing to Brown more and more, including 13 targets last week. I think this is the game it all comes together.
Tee Higgins vs. New York Giants
Even if Joe Burrow was in at quarterback Higgins would be a tough play against a good Giants secondary, but it’s tough to see Ryan Finley being able to push the ball down the field at all. I’m not dropping Higgins yet, and you shouldn’t in dynasty leagues, we’ll have to see what happens.
Jarvis Landry at Jacksonville Jaguars
You would think the value of Landry would go up with Odell Beckham Jr. out, but defenses have done well at shutting him down. Jacksonville did well at containing JuJu Smith-Schuster out of the slot and I expect Cleveland to continue to go run-heavy against a bad Jags rushing defense.
Other Wide Receivers To Sit: Marquise Brown, Travis Fulgham (Monday), Jerry Jeudy, Mike Williams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Allen Robinson at Green Bay Packers
Robinson will be a free agent at the end of the season and if he signs with a team that has a competent quarterback, he could easily be a top-five receiver, but for now, he’s on the Bears. He’s going to be getting the Jaire Alexander treatment, who has emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the league, also there’s uncertainty at quarterback with Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky dealing with injuries.
Evan Engram at Cincinnati Bengals
Engram didn’t have a good game before the bye against Philadelphia, but Engram has steadily gotten better with at least nine targets and 10 PPR fantasy points in the three games prior. This is a great matchup against the Bengals that have allowed the fifth-most points to tight ends this year.
Dallas Goedert vs. Seattle Seahawks (Monday)
Although there is the possibility of Zach Ertz coming back this week, I like Goedert. Previously with Ertz in the lineup, Goedert has been fantasy relevant and he’s recently been the receiver Carson Wentz trusts the most.
Other Tight Ends To Start: Robert Tonyan, Hunter Henry, Rob Gronkowski, Austin Hooper
Dalton Schultz vs. Washington Football Team (Thursday)
We saw a good connection between Dalton Schultz and Andy Dalton. Dalton and Dalton sounds like a father and son law firm or a network sitcom. Schultz now has at least six targets in three straight games and has a good matchup against Washington this week.
Jared Cook at Denver Broncos
I want to guess and say Taysom Hill didn’t want Cook to get any points because he didn’t want Cook to compete for the top tight end spot on ESPN fantasy if I’m thinking with my tin foil hat on. These two were not on the same page last week and this is a tough matchup against Denver who is allowing the seventh-fewest points to tight ends this year.
Jimmy Graham at Green Bay Packers
It is a revenge game, but unfortunately, there are too many factors against starting Graham. The Packers have allowed the third-fewest points to tight ends this year, Graham has just one game over 40 receiving yards this year and just one touchdown in his last five games.
Other Tight Ends To Sit: Noah Fant, Jordan Reed, Chris Herndon
Indianapolis Colts & Los Angeles Rams Tight Ends
Both of these teams already have running backs by committee, but they just had to take it a step further and do this with tight ends. Will it be Gerald Everett or Tyler Higbee? Jack Doyle or Trey Burton? This is the new stop trying to make fetch happen of fantasy football. Yes, I’m ending this with a Mean Girls reference, just one more thing to be thankful for.